Patients approach doctors and other healthcare providers with trust and in the belief that their illnesses will be treated properly and cured. However, sometimes, this faith is misplaced and the doctor or healthcare provider is negligent leading to further heath complications or more pain and suffering.
Often this happens because a doctor or radiologist was in a hurry and failed to diagnose the right condition or made a misdiagnosis and treated the patient for a condition they did not have. When this happens, there is a delay in the treatment and can adversely affect the patient as the disease might progress, they might endure additional pain and suffering, or suffer from further complications from the untreated condition.
New York Law on Failure to Diagnose
If you or a loved one believes that you have been affected by a misdiagnosis, you need to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in New York who will assess the medical records to see if you have a viable medical malpractice case against the healthcare provider who missed the diagnosis. For this the key question the medical malpractice lawyer will ask is whether the outcome for the patient would have been better if the diagnosis had been timely. This is because in a medical malpractice case, the patient must not only prove medical negligence but also that the negligence leads to an adverse health situation.
Possible Failure to Diagnose Areas
While there is a possibility of failure to diagnose in almost all healthcare situations it most often occurs with adverse effects when an emergency room doctor fails to identify early signs of a heart attack and sends the patient home, when an appendicitis is incorrectly diagnosed as the flue, when breast cancer signs are ignored in younger women, and when skin cancer signs are not acknowledged.
The Effect of Delayed Diagnosis on Breast and Skin Cancer
Cancer specialists are aware that an early diagnosis and treatment of certain types of cancer especially breast or skin can help lead to a complete remission of the disease. This is especially so with the advances in treatment. This means that if breast cancer is detected early and before it has metastasized to other organs, the treatment is simpler and more effective. Healthcare providers agree that the earlier cancer is detected and treated the greater the chances of a complete cure.
Failure to Diagnose Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest
Researchers have found that 53 percent of middle aged men who experienced cardiac arrest had some prior symptoms. However, in many cases, the symptoms were not clearly identified leading to a cardiac arrest at home. Often a failure to diagnose symptoms of cardiac arrest can be fatal.
Effects of Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis
Appendicitis is a tricky condition to diagnose and can be dangerous if the doctor fails to identify it. This is because the infected appendix can rupture and cause a major infection. As such, the best treatment for appendicitis is surgery to remove the infected and swollen appendix.
Proving Failure to Diagnose
Doctors and healthcare providers sometimes fail to diagnose conditions on time, leading to severe injury, spread of the disease, permanent disability, shortening of lifespan, or even death. However, in order to prove medical malpractice from a failure to diagnose is complicated.
The lawyer and the patient will have to obtain the testimony of a specialist doctor who will have to state that the diagnosis was possible with the given symptoms, or that the doctor should have ordered more tests. In addition, the specialist will also have to state that the failure to diagnose lead to a delayed treatment that caused severe pain or a permanent disability in the patient.